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Game Time: 5:30pm CT
Location: Carnesseca Arena, Queens, NY
Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 570AM WMCA & 970AM WNYM in New York
Creighton and St. John’s have played 17 times in their history with Creighton leading the overall series 10-7. Creighton fares poorly on the road as the Red Storm have a 3-6 advantage in New York.
Creighton has won six consecutive games against St. John’s.
Odds & Ends
St. John’s is favored by 4 according to Odds Shark.
The over/under is set at 163.
Kenpom has St. John’s winning this one 85-82.
Verba de Ludis
UPDATE: SHAMORIE IS STARTING
Shamorie Ponds is officially in the book as a starter, too, for the Red Storm. https://t.co/EbTqOoWInv— Rob Anderson (@_robanderson) January 16, 2019
Shamorie Ponds is a God.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, the God’s availability in this basketball game tonight rests solely on his back.
If his back is sore he won’t see the floor.
If his back is alright he will be upright.
It’s that simple.
Shamorie Ponds is likely the frontrunner for POtY. This isn’t hyperbole; look at the Johnnies’ record when he plays and when he doesn’t.
ST. JOHN’S WITH SHAMORIE:
ST. JOHN’S WITHOUT SHAMORIE:
lost to DePaul
If Ponds can play it changes the landscape of this game. If he can go, it’s the equivalent of adding army fatigues and modern weaponry to France’s military at the start of WWI. If he can’t go it’s the equivalent of what the French military had at the start of WWI.
Yet it’s not just the Shamorie Ponds show. Justin Simon has been solid cutting to the dish the entirety of his career at St. John’s. He simply cannot carry the load by himself, which is why Marvin Clark has a weighty importance to splash treys. Mustapha Heron has played himself into a serviceable wing slot that’ll likely matchup well against Creighton’s Mitch Ballock.
LJ Figueroa can hit the occasional three but will give Creighton fits with his length. Consider the Johnnie’s playing style of don’t pass/don’t pass/don’t pass/iso/don’t pass/don’t pass/slash/throw up a contested three, the Jays will pray that the Johnnies will go cold as they did against DePaul.
If Ponds can play, which seems likely or unlikely if you take pre-game warmups seriously, and the fact that he was in uniform during those warm-ups, it’s key for Davion Mintz to lock down on him defensively. Though Mintz was privvy to guard Markus Howard during his unbelievable 53 point performance last week, he’s keen to bounce back. Ponds can’t hit shots like Howard and doesn’t quite have the acumen to flash around the court to open himself up.
It’s St. John’s offense that will be Creighton’s greatest weapon since there’s little off-ball movement, and the Jays can space and defend properly against said offense. That’s why they’ve won seven consecutive games against the Mullin/Lavin Johnnies.
This is a desperate Jays squad looking to notch a win on the road. They need to win this at all costs to stay in the hunt. If the offense can clean up and play a game with >15 turnovers, they’ll win going away. If they get sloppy and try to play street ball with no rhyme or reason to their intent, they’ll get crushed.
Ty-Shon Alexander will give the Johnnies fits in transition, Mitch Ballock will do much of the same, but the post play by Martin Krampelj is the true key to victory. If the Jays can feed him in the post and get him hot to start, the Johnnies will have no choice but to collapse upon him like a poorly cooked souffle. This will open up perimeter shooters and, because of the sticky situation they’re in, they’re going to cash them.
Christian Bishop will also get some run since he matches up well with the athleticism the Johnnies offer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him running a bit at the ‘4’ with Samson Froling at the ‘5’. Froling can offer a heaping help of offensive firepower especially if the Johnnies get cold offensively. Though his defense is subpar, Froling can hit from the perimeter and bang down low with decent footwork. He offers the Jays a chance to slow things down and get back to a fundamental style if the pace becomes to frenetic.
Kaleb Joseph will score 20+ points. There’s no reason to this; I’m just going to keep predicting it until it happens.
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